Injury prevention should be a top priority if you play sports, exercise, or lead an active lifestyle. Injuries are not just a threat to safety but also your health. Did you know that a joint with a history of injury is prone to developing osteoarthritis later on in life? What’s more, recovering from an injury means being unable to play the sports you love.
Sports injuries are highly preventable, and there is no reason to not invest in injury prevention. If you wish to continue playing sports, you should know how to prevent sports injuries.
Here are a few recommendations.
Wear Protective Gear
Protective equipment and accessories are available to those who wish to be safe when playing sports. You should invest in helmets, jockstraps, pads and guards, sleeves, and mouth guards, adjusted according to the type of sport you play.
Wear the Right Footwear
Wearing the wrong shoes is a surefire way to sustain a foot and ankle injury. Wearing the wrong shoes can also impact your knees and your lower back. This is a very important aspect of sports safety. Common sports movements, such as jumping and running, put immense pressure on your lower extremities. Choose shoes specifically designed for the type of sport you play, so you have ample support. This can tremendously reduce your risk of injury.
Have a Fitness Plan
Playing sports requires that you be in good physical condition, which means your nutritional and physical health are well taken care of. Athletes and those who play sports often have a fitness plan that includes cardio, strength training, and flexibility training as well as nutritional goals. These exercises lower your risk of sustaining an injury, while good nutrition strengthens your body’s components and your ability to recover from minor injuries.
Before you start playing, you need to do warm-up exercises that include stretches – both static and dynamic. Your muscles should be loosened to prepare for the activity. Warm-up exercises include toe touches, jumping jacks, hip stretches, and high kicks. Without a good warm-up, you increase your risk of injury significantly.
A quality cool down after playing sports can help reduce incidences of cramping, soreness, stiffness, and muscle spasms. Aim for 10-minute sessions of stretching and deep breathing to bring your heart rate down.
Learn Proper Technique
Every sport has a requisite form and technique to learn. There is a wrong way of doing things that can lead to injuries. In fact, this is one of the most common causes of sports injuries. When getting into a sport, make sure you receive proper training from a professional on how to play effectively and safely.
Just as you need to rest your body between exercise, you also need to rest between sports games and practices. Sleep well, eat healthy foods, and keep hydrated to help prevent overuse injuries.
See a Sports Medicine Physician
A sports medicine physician can help athletes of all types, from professionals to weekend warriors. Sports medicine doctors can not only treat injuries, they can help prevent them from happening, as well.
Top Sports Medicine Physicians in Naples, Florida
The sports medicine specialists at the Joint Replacement Institute can treat a broad range of sports injuries, from an ankle sprain to a dislocated shoulder. We provide conservative treatment options as well as surgical procedures, depending on what you need.
Find out how we can help restore your function and optimize your athletic performance. Schedule a consultation with the Joint Replacement Institute by calling (239) 261-2663 or sending an appointment request.